Abatement levers feasibility

Abatement levers – feasibility and economic impact assessment

Feasible levers with high impact

The initiatives that reduce forest degradation as well the ones that increase sequestration have comparably low implementation barriers:

  • Initiatives to reduce forest degradation. Most of the efficient cooking-stove technologies are readily available, have already been tested for applicability, and have been deployed on a large scale in Ethiopia. A number of governmental and donor organizations as well as the private sector have already been active in the dissemination of such stoves. This existing institutional infrastructure and experience, as well as the grassroots level organization of the governmental institutions involved, can prove instrumental in scaling up the production and distribution effort. There are, however, potential barriers to the adoption of some of the technologies, for cultural reasons or for costs (particularly for LPG and biogas stoves), and the production of large volumes of high-quality stoves needs to be ensured.
  • Initiatives to increase sequestration. From a technical point of view, both afforestation/reforestation and forest management are highly feasible: They do not require any complicated technologies and have already been successfully tried in Ethiopia. In fact, there are several large projects for afforestation/ reforestation (e.g., Humbo CDM) and forest management (e.g., Participatory Forest Management projects) already ongoing – making the country one of the largest afforestation/reforestation areas on the continent. Large pilot projects for REDD+ are in the preparatory stages. A continuing forest data inventory might be helpful to ensure long-term success. In general, there appear to be no cultural or social barriers to implementation.

In addition, reducing forest degradation and increasing sequestration have a neutral or even positive impact on overall economic development.

  • Reduced forest degradation. Efficient stoves increase the available income of the relatively poor rural population, create employment, and improve health and gender equality. As the only potential socio-economic disadvantage, LPG stoves may increase dependence on imports of technology and fuel.
  • Increased sequestration. Afforestation/reforestation as well as forest management levers might both lead to additional economic benefits by creating employment, income from sustainable forestry for the managing communities, a stronger link between forest industry and forest development, and eventually even increasing exports and public revenues. Additional benefits such as erosion control and other ecosystem services also speak for the implementation of these measures.

Taken together, the suggested forestry abatement levers not only appear to be without major barriers to implementation, but also seem to have strong socio-economic benefits beyond GHG abatement. The initiatives discussed should therefore not only be a prime focus of the CRGE strategy, but also amongst the first initiatives for which implementation can start quickly and achieve fast success.

Abatement levers – implementation timeline and resource requirements

Implementation timeline

On the basis of the abatement potential and feasibility assessment, the Forestry STC has selected three priority initiatives for particular attention and immediate implementation efforts. These initiatives are the scale-up of fuelwood-efficient stoves, afforestation/reforestation, and forest management (Figure 1). Significant scale-up of these initiatives is envisaged to start already at the beginning of 2012.

Figure1 : Forestry – Overview of timeline for implementation of initiatives

In addition, the scale-up programmes for other stoves will also start in the course of 2012. An exception is the programme for the scale-up of LPG stoves, which is envisaged to start only in 2013/14 in order to explore the availability of sufficient amounts of LPG within the country and thereby ideally avoid an increase of costly fuel imports. The initiatives summarized under agricultural intensification as well as large-, medium- and small-scale irrigation, that are described in more detail in the Soil chapter, also have planned starting dates in 2012. It is important to mention that these dates mark the start of the implementation, which for some initiatives is staged across several years (e.g., afforestation/ reforestation is staged across all 20 years up to 2030). The estimated project time includes some required preparatory work (e.g., development of investment plans), and is subject to approval by the respective authorities and the availability of funding. Hence, the full impact of the initiatives only occurs later in most cases.

Resource requirements

The forestry initiatives (excluding agricultural intensification and irrigation projects that are accounted for in the Soil chapter of this appendix) will require a total expenditure of nearly USD 7.9 billion in the long run (i.e., up to 2030). Out of this total amount, about USD 3.4 billion is capital expenditure and USD 4.5 billion is operating and programme expenditure. Around USD 1.2 billion of the expenditure will be necessary in the short term, i.e., up to 2015 (Figure 40). If the initiatives that reduce deforestation (agricultural intensification and irrigation) would be included in the cost estimation, the total expenditure would rise to more than USD 35 billion, USD 9 billion of which would be initial investments (up to 2015).

Figure: Forestry – Financial overview of all initiatives (not including soil initiatives)

On the other hand, since most of the initiatives, particularly the scale-up of fuel efficient and fuel-shift stoves, entail high savings for the targeted population, the savings and/or additional income is expected to overcompensate this expenditure from a societal perspective. More precisely, this means that more than USD 1.4 billion savings/additional income can be generated in the short run up to 2015 and nearly USD 16 billion of savings/additional income can be achieved by 2030.

Classifying the initiatives by their return profiles (Figure 41), the fuel-efficient and fuel-shift stove initiatives (with the exception of biogas stoves) fall into the category of expenditure that yields a positive return (from a societal perspective) after less than five years. Due to the high upfront investment cost for the biogas digesters, biogas stoves yield a positive return, but only in the longer run. Although they might increase income from forestry for rural communities, the afforestation/ reforestation as well as forest management initiatives will not yield a positive return in the long run due to high investment and operating expenditure. Hence, these initiatives need to be supported by grant or pay-for-performance schemes.

As a range of programmes is already in progress in the Forestry sector, the scale up initiatives should be able to build on a solid experience base.

Figure: Forestry – 68% of cost will have positive returns in the short or long run, but 32% will need grants or performance pay

Source: CRGE, November 2011